Newly-weds and Strictly Come Dancing fans Stewart and Louise Woskett claim national dance title in Blackpool
For newly-weds Stewart and Louise Woskett, it was a double celebration to win a national dance competition in Blackpool, the home of ballroom.
The couple, who live in Manuden and both work in Bishop's Stortford, claimed top spot in the over-35s pre-amateur Latin category at the Winter Gardens 'Champions of Tomorrow' competition in January. They have now won every Latin category at the event since entering as beginners.
Stewart, 56, who is a freelance hairdresser with clients in and around Stortford, said: "It's our first major as Mr and Mrs as we were married in June, so it meant a lot to us and made it extra special."
Louise, 52, works as a student receptionist at St Mary's Catholic School in Bishop's Stortford.
The couple have been together for 13 years and have four grown-up children between them. Their love of BBC TV programme Strictly Come Dancing inspired them to take to the floor.
"Louise said she really wanted to be able to do that and I said I would have a go – I don't think she could believe it!" said Stewart. "So we started training at LSW Dance School in Hertford and have never looked back. We've been there for nine years now."
Stewart has also turned his hand to costume design, creating their own outfits.
"We had professional outfits made, but we were never really that pleased with them and they cost a lot to make. My ambition was to make Louise a dress, so I made one and that was it."
Incredibly, he did this despite having never used a sewing machine. "It was completely freehand. I went from being a novice and buying a sewing machine and seeing how it goes! I've now made 20 to 30 outfits so we have a catalogue of looks."
The Wosketts were one of 20 couples who battled it out on the dance floor, making it through three rounds to take the title in Blackpool.